Reference: ‘The Lean Startup’ by Eric Reis
Entrepreneurship requires a managerial discipline to harness the entrepreneurial opportunity.
Lean startup adapts ideas from lean thinking to the context of entrepreneurship, viz drawing on the knowledge and creativity of individual workers, the shrinking of batch sizes, just-in-time production and inventory control, and an acceleration of cycle times.
Lean startup uses ‘validated learning’ as a unit of progress.
Startups have an engine of growth. Every new version of a product, every new feature, and every new marketing program is an attempt to improve this engine of growth. … not all of these changes turn out to be improvements, new product development happens in fits and starts. Much of the time in a startup’s life is spent tuning the engine by making improvements in product, marketing, or operations.
The Lean Startup method involves driving the startup by making constant adjustments with a steering wheel called the Build – Measure – Learn feedback loop. Through this process of steering, learn when and if it’s time to make a sharp turn called a pivot or whether to persevere along the current path.
Throughout the process of driving the startup there is a destination in mind: a thriving business – the startup’s vision. To achieve that vision startups employ a strategy which includes a business model, a product road map, a point of view about partners and competitors, and ideas about who the customer will be. The product is the end result of this strategy.
Products change constantly through the process of optimization (tuning the engine of growth). Less frequently, the strategy may have to change (called a pivot). However, the overarching vision rarely changes. Entrepreneurs are committed to seeing the startup through to that destination.
- Tom Eisenmann is a professor at Harvard Business School who studies startup management and tech entrepreneurship. In 2011 he developed a new course at Harvard Business School: Launching Tech Ventures. His blog contains some valuable resources.
- Course overview
- Syllabus for the 15 class sessions
- Tools & Techniques. #2 of 25 is Ash Maurya’s adaptation of Osterwalder’s business model generation framework for use in info tech startups.
- Reading list. Top of the reading list for lean start-up concepts is Steve Blank’s Four Steps to the Epiphany. Next up are a series of blog posts where Eric Ries explains lean startup principles.